Purpose Built Power-Weight Ratio AE86 Coupe
AE86 with 4AG 20V – Japanese Classic Car
Don’t you hate it when the first thing someone asks you about your car is “How much power does it have?” I really wish that someday, someone would come up and ask me instead, “How much does your car weigh?” Without getting too in-depth about technical power-weight ratio and its applications to various motorsports, it simply means that the lighter the car, the better. Said another way, it basically doesn’t matter if you have 1000HP if the car weighs 10,000lbs.
It’s all about power to weight ratio in this game! Of course, many other factors come into play, depending on the type of racing you’re doing too, but to a certain extent- higher horsepower combined with a lightweight chassis is usually the way to go.
The AE86 is a code name for a 1985~87 Toyota Corolla GTS, which came in a front engine, rear wheel drive configuration. Because of this layout, the car became immensely popular for racing, typically in road racing, rally, and drifting. These cars are on their way to becoming classics (if they’re not already) and sure enough, they are listed significantly above their bluebook value in the blackmarket. Matt Perkins acquired his white zenki Corolla GTS coupe built from veteran AE86 Gurus, Taka Aono and Hiro Sumida. These guys were some of the founding forefathers of AE86 racing in the US.
All you need in life is an engine, a seat, and steering wheel. A real man doesn’t need A/C, P/S, or Cruise… nor any pansy electronically assisted steering mechanisms of some sort. Wouldn’t you rather be fully in control than some annoying Knightrider shmuck assisting your driving? You have to really learn how to drive analog before going digital. Ever wonder why most of the top racers in the world come from karting backgrounds?
The above engine is the very last model of the Toyota 4ag, called the Blacktop 20v or simply the 4ag 20V. The combination of VVT (variable valve timing) and ITB (individual throttle body), with 11:1 compression ratio from the factory made it a strong candidate against many of the popular twincam variable valve timing equipped 4-cylinder engines of the era. Unfortunately this fifth generation 4AG never made it to the US, and had to be imported. One reason why the Blacktop is the most powerful amongst the 4ag variation is the amazing head flow. Yamaha had had their hand at the head design including this one, as well as other powerplants for Toyota such as the BEAMS 3S-GTE, 1JZ-GTE, and 2UR-GSE (Lexus IS-F).
The suspension received a combination of TRD, Battleversion, and Project Mu goodies, successfully dialed in for both grip and drift racing. As you can see, there is no lighting assembly under the flip-up style headlamps for weight saving purposes, instead, two powerful PIAA halogen lamps were mounted in the bumper.
I would rather stare and take pictures of real race cars that are actually thrashed because of racing than look at cars with million dollar paint jobs (like I did recently at the 2011 Grand National Roadster Show). The driver’s personality is greatly evident in the cockpit and in this case, Matt doesn’t give a rat’s ass about aesthetics. He just wants to go fast. The entire frame of the car has been reinforced with welds and a SCCA compliant 6-point roll cage with various safety side beams. There’s nothing under the dash except for the engine control unit, all the sound deadening material has been pulled off. The wood Nardi steering wheel, is well… the final touch made to his Pimpmobile.
See, its a 100% track car only. Since the AE86 Corolla weighs in from the factory at 2300lbs, we figured that with all the carbon/fiberglass body parts + gutted interior, Matt’s car is just a tad over 2000 lbs. This, combined with a 165HP Twincam VVT engine, the power weight ratio comes in at 12.12 lbs per horsepower, equivalent to about a stock Mazda Rx-8. Not too shabby for a 25 year old rust bucket! Remember, these power/weight ratio figures will change if any engine mods are added or weight is decreased.
Matt currently owns and operates a dyno tuning shop called SR Motorcars in Gardena, CA. They are a one stop tuning shop for all your motorsport needs!
So kids, the lesson today was that if you want to make your car faster and don’t have any money, start ripping parts off your car to shed some weight! More power often costs alot more money… stripping parts is FREE!